This easy pancake recipe is simple to make and yields light, fluffy pancakes every time. With just 5 ingredients, this is a recipe to keep in your back pocket! Customize each stack of pancakes with blueberries, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and more for endless flavor variations.

Pancakes stacked on a plate with syrup being poured on


Only 5 ingredients needed for good old-fashioned pancakes. The process is quick and easy with minimal equipment!

Note: If you don’t have any baking powder, try my pancake recipe without baking powder!

What Makes this recipe so easy

  • Pancakes only require very simple ingredients – you likely already have everything on hand!
  • Only a few simple steps needed to make these fluffy and tender pancakes.
  • There’s something for everyone to love – these perfect pancakes can be left plain or customize with your favorite add-ins.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Flour: Flour gives pancakes structure. You can use many different types of flours for pancakes: all-purpose, whole wheat, self-rising, or cake flour. Each type of flour will result in slightly different pancake textures. For classic pancakes, I like to use all-purpose flour. Use a gluten free all-purpose mix for gluten free pancakes.

If not using all-purpose flour for these pancakes, here is how much to use of each type in the recipe:

  • Cake Flour: Use 144 grams (1 ¼ cups) of cake flour.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Use 105 grams (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) of whole wheat flour.
  • Self-Rising Flour: Use the same amount as listed in the recipe (120 grams), but omit the baking powder and salt because self-rising flour already has baking powder and salt mixed in.
  • Gluten Free Pancakes: Substitute the same amount of gluten free flour (120 grams) for all-purpose flour.

Baking Powder: Baking powder is the leavening agent that creates lightness and gives pancakes their light and fluffy texture. You can see this in the little bubbles in your pancakes as they cook. If you don’t have baking powder, try my recipe for pancakes without baking powder.

Egg: Binds the batter and adds moisture. Instead of an egg, use one of these vegan egg substitutes.

Milk: Buttermilk is preferred but any milk will do (including non-dairy milks). Milk adds moisture and buttermilk adds a rich, tangy flavor.

If you don’t have buttermilk readily available, make “sour milk” by adding one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before using in the recipe.

Oil or Melted Butter: Liquid fat adds moisture and richness. If using oil, I recommend canola or vegetable oil, but avocado or coconut oil also work.

Optional Ingredients

Sugar: In a pancake recipe, sugar simply sweetens the batter, so you can use any sugar or sugar substitute you enjoy. I don’t typically add sugar to my pancake batter because pancake toppings are often sweet (chocolate chips, syrup, etc).

Salt: A pinch of salt can balance out the sweetness.

Easy Pancake Recipe Flavors

This simple pancake recipe is a base recipe – customize it however you wish with any combination of these delicious spices, extracts, and add-ins. Follow my guidelines for how much of each to add to your pancake batter.

At the bottom of the recipe card you’ll find some of my favorite flavor ideas.

Spices (use up to 1 teaspoon total of combined spices, if desired)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground clove

Extracts, Juices, and Zests (use 1-2 of these, if desired)

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ tablespoon lemon or orange juice + ½ tablespoon lemon or orange zest

Solid Mix-Ins (use up to ½ cup total of solid mix-ins, if desired)

  • chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (mini chips, dark, milk, or white chocolate)
  • chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds)
  • fresh or frozen fruits (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and/or cherries)
  • sprinkles

How to Make Homemade Pancakes

We use the Muffin Mixing Method for this easy pancake recipe. This method is a basic baking technique used to mix not only muffins, but other quick breads like pancakes, cornbread, waffles, quick loaf breads, and sometimes coffee cakes.

This method ensures that pancakes remain tender and fluffy.

Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients whisked in a bowl

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. As an optional step, sift the dry ingredients through a fine mesh sieve to remove any clumps.

Step 2: Combine Wet Ingredients

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all wet ingredients.

Step 3: Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to stir until all of the flour is hydrated, but try not to over-mix. The batter should be lumpy at this point.

Step 4: Cook the Pancakes

Pour ¼ cup of batter onto a preheated and greased skillet. Cook until you see lots of tiny bubbles on the top and sides. Flip the pancake over and cook the second side until golden brown. Pancakes take about 2-3 minutes per side to cook through.

Transfer the hot pancakes to a wire rack to cool while you finish cooking the rest of the pancakes. I like to add a pat of butter to the pancakes while they are still warm so it melts right into the pancake. Serve warm with maple syrup, fruit, and butter.

Make-Ahead Easy Pancakes

Pancake batter prep is a great time saver on busy mornings or relaxing weekends. Simply make the batter without the baking powder. Baking powder activates as soon as it is hydrated, so it’s best to add it right before you’re ready to cook the pancakes. Cover the batter tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

About 10 minutes before cooking the pancakes, take the batter out of the refrigerator and whisk in the baking powder. Continue with the recipe as instructed.

How to Store Leftover Pancakes

Refrigerator: Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezer: After the cooked pancakes have cooled to room temperature, wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Once frozen, move the pancakes to a large zipper bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

To Reheat: Place thawed or frozen pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil (this helps the pancakes stay moist). Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 4 minutes if thawed or 6-8 minutes if frozen. 


If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other simple breakfast recipes.

Pancakes stacked on a plate with syrup being poured on
Yield: 6-8 4" Pancakes

5 Ingredient Classic Pancakes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

This is an easy pancake recipe that only takes 5 ingredients to make! These basic pancakes are simple to make and come out light and fluffy. Add blueberries, chocolate chips, cinnamon, or any of your favorite flavors!


  • 120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar (optional)
  • 240 grams (1 cup, 240 ml) buttermilk (see post for substitution)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, slightly cooled
  • large pinch salt (optional, but recommended)


  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour (120 grams, 1 cup), baking powder (2 teaspoons), sugar (50 grams, ¼ cup) if using, and salt (1 large pinch) if using.
  2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, lightly whisk together the buttermilk (240 grams, 1 cup), egg (1 large), and oil or melted butter (2 tablespoons).
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until combined (batter will be lumpy, do not over mix). Let the batter sit while heating up a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  4. Grease the griddle or skillet and pour about ¼ cup batter per pancake. Once bubbles are formed on top and along the edges, flip the pancake once to finish cooking on the other side. They will take about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup.


Flavor Variations Ideas:

  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip: Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. After the batter has been fully mixed, gently fold in a ½ cup mini or regular sized chocolate chips.
  • Blueberry Lemon: Add ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the wet ingredients. After the batter has been fully mixed, gently fold in a ½ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. (if you prefer, you can arrange the blueberries in a single layer directly onto the pancake while it is cooking in the pan).
  • Funfetti: Add ¼ teaspoon almond extract to the wet ingredients After the batter has been fully mixed, gently fold in ½ cup of sprinkles.
  • Cinnamon Nut: Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. After the batter has been fully mixed, gently fold in ½ cup chopped nuts.

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